Benitez unsure of Liverpool transfer budget

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Rafael Benitez has admitted he does not know whether he will get the funds he needs to turn Liverpool into a major force again.

The Reds' last chance of collecting any silverware from a disastrous season was flattened by Diego Forlan at Anfield last night as he scored the away goal that proved decisive in Atletico Madrid's Europa League semi-final triumph.

Aside from an outside chance of finishing fourth, which will require a defeat of title-chasing Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday, there is little else to pick out of the wreckage. With the club now up for sale, Benitez remains unaware how much rebuilding work he will be able to do this summer.

"I do not know whether I will have any funds," he said. "We will find out in the summer.

"Liverpool is a massive club but there has been a change in the last two or three years. We have had to balance the books and manage in this way."

Benitez's squad is crying out for reinforcements judging from the lack of experience he had at his disposal last night.

The Spaniard is aware of the problem and he has a good idea what it will take to rectify it.

"Someone said we needed four or five players. I would more or less agree with that. That is what we have to do," he said.

Whether Benitez remains to undertake such a massive rebuilding job remains to be seen.

Juventus are said to be keen on the Spaniard, who saw his hopes of leading Liverpool to a third European final under his charge collapse after they had found themselves in such a promising position.

There was lots of effort and a bit of finesse in the first half, Alberto Aquilani providing the latter with a superb finish to put the hosts in front.

Although there were no more goals in normal time, Yossi Benayoun struck at the start of the additional 30 minutes and seemed to have set up an all-English final with Fulham in Hamburg on May 12.

Forlan wrecked those dreams, leaving Benitez to pick his players up once more.

"Everything seems to have been against them this season," he said.

"It is clear that we had some problems. We had too many injuries and were lacking forward options. But the players worked so hard tonight and I am very proud of them."

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